Philip Vandermost
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Philip Vandermost


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"Sound Inspiration"

Turn It Up: Singer-songwriter Philip Vandermost, influenced by bands ranging from The Beatles to Coldplay, offers his own brand of inspiration through solo album, Automatic August. Listen to a music clip off the album!
BY Sarah Mosqueda
April 28, 2009 - 1:56 PM

The bar and lounge at Mahe in Dana Point is packed to the gills on a Friday night in February. Loud voices are met with louder laughter, but when the opening chords of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” begins, the crowd becomes as quiet as a tipsy Friday night audience can be.

Guitarist Philip Vandermost is the leader of the trio that plays Mahe twice a month. Along with Jim Moreland (drums) and Chris DeJesus (bass), Vandermost performs everything from Oasis tunes to Elton John classics. He’s also been known to inspire impromptu dance floors when he plays other people’s songs, but it’s his original music that’s receiving a warm response in Orange County.

Vandermost’s career as a musician has been a lifetime in the making. Inspired by The Beatles albums his mother was constantly spinning and AM radio rock, he picked up the guitar at age 11.

“In high school, I wanted to be a rock star,” says Vandermost. But since “rock star” isn’t a job title you’re likely to find on career day, Vandermost went off to college, taking a 10-year hiatus from music. That is, until he answered an ad for a lead guitar player.

“I felt like I had been playing guitar on a high level for a long time and had nothing to show for it,” Vandermost says. “My main goal is to share.”

And sharing he is, by nearly single-handedly writing, performing and producing a solo album titled Automatic August. The album is a labor of love in many aspects. Heavily laden with the melodic rock Vandermost grew up on, the album was born in Vandermost’s Laguna Niguel home studio. Vandermost clearly has an ear for good pop and his three big influences – The Byrds, The Beatles and The Beach Boys – are easily detected, which is not to say his work isn’t original.

“You know Bruce Springsteen was inspired by Bob Dylan and The Killers are influenced by Springsteen. There is this whole lineage that you can just trace,” Vandermost says.

Vandermost pairs his ’60s-tinged wailing guitar riffs with poetic lyrics, reminiscent of his more recent influences, including Snow Patrol, My Morning Jacket and Coldplay. He also enlisted the help of poet Robert Fulton for lyrics, though Vandermost wrote or co-wrote all the tracks on Automatic August. “Some of the themes I like are love and redemption. I think those are universal in a way.”

But writing is only part of it. “I played all the instruments myself and called in somebody for drums,” he says.

Vandermost has plans for a second release later this year, following roughly the same pattern, though he may do some things differently. “I might actually work with a producer this time,” he says. “When you write and produce everything yourself, you become pretty close to it. I like the idea of an outside perspective.”

For now, Vandermost is enjoying the good response Automatic August has received and the long way he has come since his AM radio days.

“I’m kind of making up for lost time.”

Philip Vandermost’s album Automatic August is available on iTunes. You can catch Philip Vandermost performing live at Mahe in Dana Point May 7, May 30, June 6, and June 11. Go to for details. - Coast Magazine

"Making the Vandermost of it"

Not many artists get to celebrate the release of their commercial debut with an appearance as part of the acclaimed International Pop Overthrow festival.
But then not many artists have served as the lead guitarist in the service of such a wide-range of acclaimed original artists whose ranks include Greenwich Meantime, the Kelly Bowlin Band and the George Fryer Combo.
Philip Vandermost will step out of his long-time supporting player role and into center stage when he performs at International Pop Overthrow (better known as "IPO") on July 26. The performance at Fitzgerald's in Huntington Beach will also mark the CD release of his 10-song solo debut, "Automatic August."
In addition to being invited to play on an ideal slot as part of the annual festival – 8 p.m. on a Saturday night – Vandermost's song "Since Mountains Have Risen" off his new album is being included on the 2008 International Pop Overthrow collection issued by Bash.
"The lyrics for 'Since Mountains Have Risen' are by Robert Fulton, but to me the song is about the redemptive power of love. A lot of the record is you need to live life in the moment and not be on automatic pilot," Vandermost said.
"Automatic August" features a wealth of material, from the hard-rocking melodic rock of "Speak to Me" and the power pop-mining "Because" to the R.E.M.-meets- Carbon Leaf territory of "Drifting."
"Most of the bands I listen to can be traced back to the three B's: the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Byrds," explained Vandermost, noting one thing that all three of those legendary bands used a combination of guitars and vocals to forge an original sound equally rooted in strong songwriting.
When Vandermost returned from Europe in August 2007, he approached Fulton with some demos of his music and asked if he wanted to come up with some lyrics. As evidenced by the winning blend of Vandermost's music and Fulton's lyrics, that creative pairing quickly led to an album's worth of strong material penned between December 2007 and February 2008.
Vandermost recorded the album demos at home using the GarageBand program in his home studio. While Jim Moreland was brought in to play drums, Vandermost sang and provided all guitars, bass and keyboards on the album.
The entire project was recorded, mixed and mastered between February and April of this year.
"This is a fun transition," Vandermost said of embarking on a solo career. "I get to handle the creative and the business sides."
Information: - Orange County Register

"Vandermost completes 'The Long Path""

Tuesday, August 4, 2009
O.C. singer Philip Vandermost completes 'The Long Path'
The musician says his second album is 'light years' beyond his first.
Special to the Register

When it comes to crafting rock music for the ages, singer-songwriter Philip Vandermost is already a master.

The Laguna Niguel resident celebrated the release of his sophomore album "The Long Path" with an appearance as part of the acclaimed International Pop Overthrow (better known as IPO) festival in Huntington Beach on July 25, and also performed a full-length encore via an afternoon set at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa the following day.

"The Long Path" is a triumph, filled with propulsive power-pop ("New Way," "Trying Again"), articulate guitar rock ("Barefoot," "Miles to Go") and classic rock-styled songcraft ("Turn Me Around," "Alone"). Across the 11-song disc, Vandermost's skills as singer and guitar virtuoso shine, building on the promise he displayed on his 2008 debut, "Automatic August."

Vandermost and his band will perform a free full-length show at Mahé in Dana Point at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 8, while he will perform a solo acoustic show at the same venue on Aug. 20.

"The Long Path" was produced by Andrew Alekel, who is credited with engineering and producing albums for Foo Fighters, No Doubt, Queens of the Stone Age, Matt Costa and others.

"Andrew sent me an e-mail and asked if I was interested in doing a CD," recalled Vandermost in a recent interview.

"I had just finished home demos for the next CD so the timing was perfect."
Vandermost, bassist Scott Vonkaenel and drummer Nick Hoffman spent 11 days recording and mixing tracks at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood.

"I knew I would have to have the arrangements down," explained Vandermost, noting Alekel's studio expertise helped every step in the recording process.

"To me, this (album) is light years beyond what I did last time," Vandermost said.
His favorite track is the title track, which boasts an immediately-luring vocal melody wrapped around a lush rock soundscape.

"'The Long Path' is especially significant; musically, it's inspired by classic rock I listen to and new rock too – it brings old and new together. (Lyrically) It's about my journey (through life) – it looks at appreciating each other and not to lose hope," Vandermost said.
The song also features plenty of Vandermost's virtuoso guitar work, which is always unleashed in the service of the songs.

"I love performing too. It has been a wonderful development in the way that I express myself," said Vandermost, a celebrated lead guitar player who was a member of Greenwich Meantime, the Kelly Bowlin Band and the George Fryer Combo before embarking on a solo career in 2008.

Vandermost has been embraced by leaders of the regional music scene, with IPO founder David Bash among his growing number of supporters. In addition to picking up both his albums at his live performances, listeners can purchase his album via iTunes, and other well-known online music distributors. He also wrote a melodic pop-rock gem, "Again and Again," that is included on the newly-released "International Pop Overthrow: Volume 12" collection available via Not Lame Recording Company.

"IPO is a great community, and a great umbrella for promoting independent music," Vandermost said. - Orange County Register


The Long Path (full-length album/CD) - July 2009

Automatic August (full-length album/CD) - June 2008




Philip Vandermost is an OC Music Awards-winning singer/songwriter who has released his second full-length album in as many years.

In over a decade of recording and performing live as a journeyman guitarist/singer and now as a bandleader, Vandermost has shared the stage with the likes of The Motels, Mike Campbell (of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), Derek Trucks Band, The Knack, Brother, Eric Johnson, Joe Ely, Jon Anderson, Gary Allan, Merle Haggard and many others.

His new release, produced by Andrew Alekel (Queens of the Stone Age, Weezer) is called 'The Long Path" and features a collection of modern rock songs with a range of classic influences.

His debut release “Automatic August” earned him rave reviews from many publications such as Coast Magazine, The Orange County Register and Vintage Guitar Magazine.

For more artist information or to purchase the CD, visit or for photos and more downloads visit